The Motion Picture Competitiveness Program (HB 1554/SB 5539) remains Washington state’s single best tool for securing motion picture business. Without it, Seattle’s film industry would lose the momentum that has led to a 30 percent annual increase in Seattle film activity since the incentive program was put into place. Washington’s film incentives benefit Seattle more than any other city in the state and also level the playing field with other states, such as Oregon, that compete aggressively for this business.
One current example of the importance of the film incentive is the new AMC television series, “The Killing.” Its premiere this week sparked international critical and viewer acclaim, not to mention it’s set in Seattle.
The Office of Film + Music, in coordination with Washington Filmworks, worked for months to try and attract the filming to Seattle. In the end, producers took the production to Canada because renewal of the film incentive program was uncertain. Without the guarantee of the State film incentive, the production costs were much cheaper in Vancouver, B.C. Seattle and Washington lost the opportunity to have a television series, with the potential of several years of filming, and the economic benefit of jobs and revenues over the life of the series.
Seattle supports this legislation because it will continue a program of incentives for the motion picture industry in Washington state, which is crucial for the health of Seattle’s film industry.
It is crucial that every film industry worker write his/her Senators urging them to support the bill. Your elected officials need to hear directly from you!
To find your Senator, please click here.
What is Washington’s Motion Picture Competitiveness Program?
In 2006, the legislature created an incentive program to attract film industry investment to Washington state. The incentive is administered by Washington Filmworks, a non-profit organization and guided by the state’s Department of Commerce. The program continues to attract out-of-state filmmakers, as well as support Washington production companies.
Why is this information relevant now?
Washington’s Motion Picture Competitiveness Program is up for renewal in the Senate with Bill 5539 and the House of Representative with House Bill 1554. Please support these bills to continue renewal of the incentive program and support creating jobs and maintaining Washington state’s film industry.
Who is Washington Filmworks (WF)?
WF is a private non-profit organization that manages the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program. The passing of the aforementioned bills would continue the B&O tax credit that supports WF, and create an environment for continued film investment and economic growth in Washington.
What are the economic benefits?
The economic activity from the incentive program has generated $107.7 million, and supported 59 projects, including 23 feature films, 4 television movies of the week, and 32 commercials since February 2007. Additionally, film companies provided 1,155 jobs in 2010 and 1,629 jobs in 2009 for Washington.
If you still aren’t convinced, check out this promotional video on YouTube.